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Kale and White Bean Soup (vegan)

Kale and White Bean SoupEver have one of those days? You look outside and the winter sun is almost blinding so it looks warm, yet the wind is blustery, and you can just tell it’s butt-cold out there. It make you just want to stay glued to your desk, wrapped in the thickest fleece sweatpants you own, topped with a warm sweater, sipping steaming cups of hot coffee and steamed soy milk. Then, you dive into daydreams of hot broth-based soup, savory with umami flavor (you know, the kind of flavor restaurant soups have?).

I do and lucky for me when I Googled white beans and kale (staples in this household), I found a recipe I could adapt. A review said it was bland. So I dipped into a creative mode and slow cooked the onions for a creamy, velvety consistency, added VegeBase instead of watery veggie broth, and swirled in vegan Parmesan cheese. Indeed, one of the best soups ever. Yum!

It’s a nice idea to have root vegetables in the crisper – they last a very long time and are delicious additions to soups and stews.

Kale and White Bean Soup (vegan)

Makes 6 main-course servings

Prep time: 1 hour

Total time: 3 hour

Ingredients

1 onions, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound dried white beans (navy, cannellini or Great Northern), rinsed and picked over

5 tablespoons Vogue-brand Instant VegeBase (or other vegetarian broth powder)

2 quarts and 5 cups water

4 tablespoons vegan Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon low sodium Spike seasoning

2 whole bay leaves

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

8 carrots, sliced into pennies

1 pound lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur or Tuscan kale), de-stemmed and coarsely shredded

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized pot, cover beans with 2 inches water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour or more. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.
  2. In a large enamel-coated cast iron Dutch oven, cook onions in oil over medium or medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add beans, broth powder, water, vegan Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, Spike, bay leaf, and rosemary and carrots, and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 1 hour (if time, 90 minutes).
  3. Stir kale into soup and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Note: Soup is at its premium when made a day ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

makes about 1 cup
  •  1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (not salt)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a smooth powder consistency is reached. Note: You can use all cashews if preferred. 

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